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Hello all,

I'm hoping someone can advise me on how to proceed with an undesirable situation and find the part I need to fix my wife's car.

So the other day, I went to take my wife's 2011 EX to work, and it didn't start. I suspected the battery, so had a neighbor give me a jump and took some cables with me. Had to jump it again to get it home, then it sat in the driveway for a few days until we could get it to the dealership (free batteries for life). Yesterday, I hooked up a jump-starter box and fired it up without issue, and my wife drove it to the dealership. They called her a few hours later and said the car was ready, they were going to run it through the wash and she could pick it up anytime.

When she got there, they told her that the car now would not start. From her account, there were 3 techs around the car, and visible smoke coming from under the hood as well as a burnt electronics smell. They told her the starter was fried, denied any responsibility, and wanted $440+ to fix it. I told her to just get the car home and I could fix the starter. Wouldn't be my first.

When I popped the hood, I could immediately smell burnt electronics, but couldn't locate the source. I later found it was coming from inside the starter. When I disconnected the starter, the solenoid pigtail harness crumbled in my hand. Initially, just a small piece broke off, but the tab that holds it on was intact so I thought it would still be usable. But when I went to plug it into the new starter, a few more larger pieces broke off including the tab, and closer inspection showed the entire harness was cracked in half.

So on to my questions: what are the chances the dealership was responsible, and do I have any recourse to seek compensation? I assume no, since the car was removed from their possession. And can anybody help me find a part number or other information for the harness, as well as the best way to go about installing it? Is it as simple as snip and splice?

Thanks to everyone in advance.

Aryl
 

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I would have contacted Kia consumer affairs with your situation ASAP. I would NOT have left with the car in my possession. The car was in their care when it was dropped off. They also confirmed it was ready to go. At bare minimum, you should have requested a manager and explained the situation before reaching out to Kia consumer affairs.

Unfortunately, you've now taken the car home, it's been under your care, and unless you could prove otherwise in a court of law (or worse, likely under an arbitrator due to a clause you signed when you bought the car) that YOU haven't caused the problem, you are now stuck fixing whatever you've got.

Start with the service manual for the specific car you've got. The service manual has every electrical wiring diagram, ever nook and cranny of maintenance for your vehicle in that book (not the owner's manual, the service manual). You can find it online sometimes for free if you're lucky.

NEVER EVER leave a dealership with a car that they fucked up. Once you leave, it's now your problem.
 
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